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scale with parasitoid

Four-part image: Top left shows closeup of tree branch covered in many small gray bumps. Top right shows a closeup of a small yellow-ish larva in a circular indentation on a wood surface. Bottom left shows two small circular indentations, one with a small yellow-ish pupa in it, the other with a larger scale insect, which is a pinkish soft-looking round disk in appearance. Bottom right shows an overhead view of a small black wasp.

Natural enemies such as parasitoid wasps target gloomy scales (Melanaspis tenebricosa) that infest red maple trees (top left). With the scale’s outer covering removed, the parasitoid larva (top right) can be seen, having fed on the scale as it developed. The parasitoid then enters the pupal stage (bottom left, at left, shown in comparison to a healthy adult scale with cover removed) before later emerging as an adult (bottom right). (Photos by Caleb J. Wilson, Ph.D.)

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